I’m the only child of hippies from the 1960’s–only reason my folks didn’t go to Woodstock was they couldn’t find a babysitter for me. Yup, that’s me, the ol’ killjoy. As a child, I had blonde hair long enough to sit on, and I started skipping grades of school in the first grade. By high school, I’d skipped three grades. Which is to say, I was that annoying little kid who blew out all the curves in my high school classes. Oh, and did I mention I was a mascot majorette in a marching band? If you’ve met me, you’ll guffaw when I state that I was a shy, quiet person who kept to myself for the most part, but it’s true. My school pic’s from about fifth grade through high school are frighteningly nerdy.
I spent some time in Europe during the Cold War, and got the opportunity to see the Berlin Wall when bright-eyed, East German boy-soldiers were paid huge bonuses to shoot anyone trying to escape across it to the West. It was because of the Wall that I joined the U.S. Air Force. I was the black sheep of my family for doing so, in fact. (Reference the hippy parents in paragraph 1.) I had grown up around airplanes, and it was a natural fit for me to go to pilot training. Not to mention it was extremely cool to fly supersonic jets. I broke the sound barrier for the first time the day I turned 21. Best birthday present ever!
I was the first and only woman in every squadron I flew in during my Air Force career. It was a mixed bag–most of the guys I worked with were consummate professionals and didn’t care at all what gender I was as long as I did my job. But every now and then, things got interesting. Those are war stories for another time, however, and usually require copious bribes or mild torture to extract from me. Let’s just say I pulled a lot from my own experiences when I wrote the Medusa series about the first all-female Special Forces team.
My husband and I were forced out of the military after the first Gulf War in a massive reduction in forces. His job took him to Texas and there we settled. Great place, Texas–full of big-hearted, generous people who are cussedly independent, and a ton of fun. Am still happily married after coming up on twenty-five years. Yes, I was a ten-year-old child bride.
My husband got involved in medieval reeanacting some years ago and flatly tricked me into doing it with him. But once I tried it, I was hooked. We actually owned and ran a chapter of a medieval reeancting game called Dragon Crest for many years. It’s this experience that led me to work on an epic fantasy novel along with the game’s entirely brilliant founder, Bill Flippin. I was stunned when Tor offered to publish the book plus two more, and my fantasy writing career was born.
To date, I’ve sold fifty-some novels (I honestly don’t count any more), won a bunch of awards, and am going strong. My biggest problem as an author is figuring out which book I get to work on next. I enjoy writing more than just about anything mentionable here and look forward to many, many more books in my future. I love to hear from readers, particularly when I’m looking for an exucse to avoid working on the latest book! So help me out, eh, and drop me a line some time…